India - a land known for its fairs and festivals. A land also known for bringing together people from all walks of life, at the same place, for brief intervals of time. And, nothing proves this more than the Simhasth Kumbh Mela, one of the four Kumbh Melas held once in every 12 years, this time being held on the banks of River Kshipra in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.
The target group agnostic campaign has targeted one lakh people through this unique plate branding whose copy reads 'Kariye Shubh Bhojan Ki Shuruwat, Ek Chutki Tata Namak Ke Saath'. According to a popular news website, 5.5 crore devotees have already visited the Simhasth Kumbh Mela, claims the brand.
To add to it, 35 tonnes of Tata Salt have been distributed to the 15 'akharas' at the Kumbh Mela venue, meant to be used in the preparation of the meals. The campaign plans to reach approximately 50 lakh pilgrims through the distribution of salt, in addition to the one lakh people who have already been a part of the product branding.
The campaign has not made use of any other media mix. There is on-ground static branding like branded balloons, being sold at the Kumbh Mela venue, as well as help desk branding.
Been There, Done That
Given the enormity of footfalls that take place at the Kumbh Mela (across various parts of the country), new product launches by companies or building brand recall for and through the existing product portfolio by means of some unique on-ground activation is a recurring feature at the fairs.
We take a look at the brands that have similarly leveraged the Kumbh Mela, over the past few years.
Recently, Airtel, a popular telecom provider, undertook a beautification drive at all the major ghats, including Triveni Ghat, Gau Ghat, Sidhwat Ghat, and Mangalnath Ghat, located on the banks of the Kshipra river during Ujjain's ongoing Simhasth Kumbh Mela even as the outdoor campaign grabbed eyeballs for its 3G ads.
Last year, Aaj Tak, the 24-hour Hindi news channel from TV Today network, launched an on-ground, out-of-home campaign 'Safai Ki Dhun', a cleanliness drive at the Nashik Kumbh Mela. The 'Safaigiri' drive, as the brand called it, saw the installation of special changing rooms for pilgrims on the ghats of River Godavari, having equipped the entrance of the changing rooms with sensors that played the 'Safai ki Dhun, Bathroom ko Chun' jingle when one entered these rooms. The aim was to encourage the use of toilets.
Another brand that leveraged the confluence of sanitation and salvation to its optimum during the Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015 was Dettol, the hygiene brand from RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser). The brand promoted healthy hand-washing habits (especially, before eating) as part of its 'Kam Paani Mein Zyaada Suraksha' campaign.
The year 2013 saw Lifebuoy, the soap brand from Hindustan Unilever, tying up with local eateries during the Purna Kumbh Mela where it sent out branded 'chapatis' with the message 'Lifebuoy se haath dhoye kya?' (Did you you're your hands with Lifebuoy?). The same year, Idea, the telecom brand from the Aditya Birla Group, launched a high-decibel outdoor campaign with the help of branded balloons, welcome gates, bus branding, and helpline kiosks across Allahabad (the venue for that year), to gain brand visibility, as well as customer engagement exercise.